Century Pacific jumps at market debut

Posted at 05/06/14 12:50 PM

MANILA – Shares of Philippine canned food firm Century Pacific Food Inc. climbed as much as 16.7 percent in early trade at its market debut, helped by strong liquidity in the local financial market.

Century Pacific, only the second company to list its shares in the Philippine market this year, opened at P15.5 ($0.35), nearly 13 percent higher than its IPO price of P13.75. It later climbed to as much as P16.04.

Manila's main stock index was slightly lower at around 0.1 percent.

Analysts say Century was supported by expectations of continued strong consumption growth, which fuels about two-thirds of the country's overall economic growth.

Joanna Capiral, equity analyst at Papa Securities Corp, said the expensive valuation of Century at 23 times price-to-earnings might cap the stock's gain for the day.

"Long-term prospects are good, but at current levels the company's growth is priced in," she said.

The company had raised about P3.16 billion from its public offer of 229.65 million primary shares, which it plans to use to finance expansion plans.

Double Dragon Properties Corp, the first stock listing this year and a relatively small IPO, surged as much as 50 percent at its debut last month, benefiting from huge demand for new listings.